From the bestselling author of "How We Die" comes a fascinating exploration of the human body that combines a surgeon's experiences with the rich folklore and legends that surround our vital organs. "The Mysteries Within" brilliantly melds myth and science from the dawn of recorded history to the present day.From the bestselling author of "How We Die" comes a fascinating exploration of the human body that combines a surgeon's experiences with the rich folklore and legends that surround our vital organs. "The Mysteries Within" brilliantly melds myth and science from the dawn of recorded history to the present day.Read Less
New in New jacket. 8vo-over 7¾"-9¾" tall. 1st Ed., 1st Printing, number row 10-1, HB/DJ, brand new, 286 pp. Brodart mylar cover put on DJ. Nuland, a master storyteller, has written a wonderful book for physicians and surgeons with a love of medical history. Nuland goes back through history and examines the magic, mystery, discoveries, and primitive beliefs that forged much of modern medical science and established the still-existing associations we have with our internal organs and their imagined powers. Nuland focuses on five of those organs: the stomach, heart, liver, spleen, and uterus. And while it's not identified as an organ of discussion for the book, the human mind is also under study here.
Publishers Weekly, 1999-12-13 In this gracefully written study, bestselling surgeon and Yale professor Nuland (How We Die) takes a scalpel to centuries of folk beliefs, superstitions, myths and wishful thinking that have clung to modern Western medicine through its history. The ancient Greek belief (which persisted into the early modern era) that various internal organs impart distinctive personality traits through "humors" or circulating fluids is just one of many fallacies Nuland dissects. Plato and the early Church fathers also subscribed to the notion that, at birth, each individual is already completely formed in the seed of the father. Even after Anton van Leeuwenhoek's discovery of the sperm cell in 1674, "preformationists" rushed forward to claim that they had seen tiny men within the spermatozoa. Fear of bowel stasis and self-poisoning by stool--a recurrent theme throughout history--led to a plethora of unproven remedies ranging from high-colonic irrigations to the surgical removal of lengths of colon. In a selective tour of the human body focusing on just five organs--heart, stomach, liver, spleen, uterus--Nuland shows how, as medical science has advanced, it has slowly disentangled itself from preconception and irrationalism. He says these tendencies are still with us in today's alternative healing scene (homeopathy, reflexology, herbalism, Chinese medicine, etc.), which, he claims, embraces vague notions of immeasurable energies and life forces gone awry. The book's most interesting sections are Nuland's taut re-creations of his operating-room experiences--moving dramas that take us deep inside his patients' lives as well as their bodies--as he walks a tightrope between life and death. Agent, Glen Hartley, Writer's Representatives; 5-city tour (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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